Thursday, July 2, 2015

Keep Reading With Books From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Keep Reading final

At our house we have all different stages of readers. My two boys aren't reading on their own yet but they will jump on any opportunity to have Mom or Dad read them a book. My two girls are older and able to read by themselves, although my soon to be 7th grader usually has to have some extra encouragement. Whether your kids need some help sharing in a story or maybe they can dive into the pages on their own, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has books that will keep all of your kids reading and they recently sent me the books pictured above, at no cost, to facilitate this review of some of their beloved selections.

  Read To Me 1

Elijah and Eva are so excited to share with you our first selection of books that are perfect for younger children who still need some help reading from Mom and Dad. We always try to have at least one book or two to read as part of our bedtime routine and we were all excited to check out these great stories!

A Letter For Leo

A Letter For Leo cover

The illustrator of Eve Bunting’s Tweak Tweak and Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? makes his Clarion debut as author/illustrator with a tender book about loneliness and friendship. Leo, a mailman, takes in a small bird, Cheep, who missed the autumn migration of his flock.When spring comes and Cheep moves on, Leo is sad to see him go, but he also has hope, and the letter he has been longing for finally arrives. Sergio Ruzzier’s signature, slightly surreal animal characters and the setting, rendered in brilliant colors, make this simple, eloquent story a visual treat for the very young. - HMH Website Description

 All of my kids loved this adorable story! Everyone feels lonely and in need of friends some times and A Letter For Leo was a sweet reminder of just how easy it is to lift someone's spirits. You can purchase a hardcover copy of A Letter For Leo HERE for $16.99

Tallulah's Tutu

Tallulah's Tutu cover

  Tallulah just knew she could be a great ballerina, if only she had a tutu. So she starts ballet class. When she does not receive a tutu, she quits. But everywhere she goes, things keep reminding her of ballet. Her neighbor’s basset hound always stands in second position. The kitchen clock performs perfect ronds de jambe. And Tallulah can’t seem to stop doing ballet, either. A park bench makes a perfect barre, and what better way to pet the dog than with a graceful pliĆ©? This well-told, funny story with a smart new character will satisfy girls’ cravings for pretty and pink, but also shows that ballet is about more than just the tutu - HMH Website Description

My 7-year old daughter definitely gravitated towards all the pink and frills of this book. Tallulah is quite the character and my daughter was a little surprised at how demanding Tallulah was about getting her tutu. It was a great lesson for her to learn that quitting just because you don't get what you want, when you want it, isn't the best way to go and if you work hard it pays off in the end! You can purchase a hardcover copy of Tallulah's Tutu HERE for $16.99

Gus The Dinosaur Bus

Gus The Dinosaur Bus cover

  Gus is a very large, very special green dinosaur—and he makes the perfect city schoolbus. Or does he? He causes traffic jams, gets tangled in telephone lines, knocks down traffic lights, and creates potholes with his big stomping feet. If the principal fires Gus from schoolbus duty, how will the thirty-ton dino find a new job? Lynn’s wonderful, sketchy watercolor and pencil illustrations recall old classics, as does the pleasantly preposterous story of a dinosaur who just wants to be helpful. - HMH Website Description

 Gus proved to be an adorable addition to our literary friends and with my son Elijah starting school this Fall, this book helped him get a little more exited about the upcoming event. Gus was a great friend and I love that this story teaches that being helpful and nice is also a great way to make some wonderful friends. If we all lived to help each other a little more in this world, what a grand place it would be! It was also a good reminder to me as a parent, sometimes it's just easier to get the housework done, laundry folded, or dinner made myself, but children love to bring a helping hand, even if they help isn't always perfect. You can purchase a hardcover copy of Gus The Dinosaur Bus HERE for $12.99


  Read To Me Giveaway

One lucky reader will win their own hardcover copies of A Letter For Leo, Tallulah's Tutu, and Gus The Dinosaur Bus. The giveaway will end June 18, 2015 at 11:59pm. Open to residents of the US only and must be 18 years old to enter. Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below.  

Disclosure: I was sent the items listed above at no cost to facilitate this review. Prize fulfillment of all the above giveaways is the responsibility of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and not Our Southern Style or Thrifty Nifty Mommy. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. 

 With books from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt the fun doesn't just stop when kids learn to read on their own. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has wonderful books for all ages and stages of readers. My daughter, Eva, starts the 2nd grade this Fall and is so excited to be reading on her own. She made some great progress in school this year and I wanted to keep her on that same reading path so that she not only retained what she had learned, but strengthened both her reading and comprehension over the Summer. I was excited to hear about the awesome series Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt sent us 5 hardcover books in the series, at no cost, to facilitate this review. Eva, literally, couldn't wait to get reading and as soon as the box arrived she pulled the first Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa book out and dove right into it! This series is perfect for any cowgirl or cowboy who is at the 2nd or 3rd grade reading level.

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa

Read to Me 4

Hold on to your hats! Two new pals have arrived on the scene: Cowgirl Kate and her stubborn, but devoted cowhorse, Cocoa. Together they count the herd, ride the range, and, of course, argue till the cows come home--as only best friends can do - HMH Website Description

  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt offers these books in several different collections including hardcover books as well as paperback, Level 2 Reader paperback books, and even e-books, with prices starting at just 3.99 for each book. We were thrilled to have the hardcover copies which means not only will they last as Eva relives all of Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa's adventures, but she will be able to pass them down to her other siblings as they learn to read on their own.
  cowgirl kate collage 2

Check out some of these wonderful titles in this delightful series:

  • Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa - Cowgirl Kate and her cowhorse, Cocoa, are ready to ride in this first book in a dynamic new easy reader series! - HMH Website Description. $15.99 for Hardcover; 5.99 for Paperback
  • Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Partners - Saddle up, wranglers! Here comes the next installment in the adventures of Cowgirl Kate and her trusty cowhorse, Cocoa. The best friends are as feisty as ever as they play hide-and-seek, get new shoes, and learn the true meaning of friendship: They're partners through thick and thin, and partners do everything together. - HMH Website Description $5.99 for Paperback
  • Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: School DaysIn this new boot-stompin' adventure, Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa are going to school. Well, Cowgirl Kate is going--horses are not allowed. Luckily, there's plenty of time after school to make a new friend and have fun doing homework. One lesson Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa both learn . . . they're best partners no matter what. - HMH Website Description $5.99 for Paperback
  • Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Horse In The House - In this fifth book in the series, Cocoa nudges his way right into Cowgirl Kate's house. He pokes his head through every doorway and finally decides to live in the best stall of all--the kitchen. What's a cowgirl to do? Well, whether under one roof--or two--there's no doubt these buckaroos will be pals forever! - $15.99 for Hardcover; $5.99 for Paperback
  • Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Spring BabiesBaby animals are springing up on the ranch. Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa have a lot to do to help these new friends feel at home. But Cocoa’s not sure he wants new friends, especially if they mean more work. With Cowgirl Kate’s gentle nudging—and snacks!—Cocoa’s happy to help out, and work is as fun as play - HMH Website Description $5.99 for Paperback
Click HERE to check out all of these books and more in the Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa series!
  Read To Me 3

Eva has always done very well in school and with her reading so these books were at the perfect reading level for her. Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa allowed her to curl up on her own to read, but still gave her enough of a challenge to push her even further ahead in comprehension. The stories were so fun and inviting that when Eva sat down to start one, she didn't put it down till she had finished all of the chapters. I love that these chapter books give her the feeling of graduating to a higher reading level and also gives her reading goals to work towards as she finishes each chapter. When kids know they can accomplish a reading goal, they are more willing to stick with it! Eva was able to read through an entire book in about 20 minutes, which for a 7-year old is the perfect "read alone"time. It kept her attention and allowed her to finish before her thoughts drifted off to other areas of play. Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa have won their way into Eva's heart and a special spot on her bookshelf!


  Cowgirl Kate & Cocoa Giveaway   

One lucky reader will win these 5 Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa HARDCOVER books from the Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa series.   The giveaway will end June 18, 2015 at 11:59pm. Open to residents of the US only and must be 18 years old to enter. Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below.  

Disclosure: I was sent the items listed above at no cost to facilitate this review. Prize fulfillment of all the above giveaways is the responsibility of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and not Our Southern Style or Thrifty Nifty Mommy. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. 

 Whether it's reading out loud before bedtime, or off to the next level of reading on their own - the important thing is for kids (and adults) to keep reading! To explore endless titles for everyone in the family, visit Houghton Mifflin Harcourt! There's always FREE shipping on any orders over $25! Don't forget to follow them on their social media pages to hear about the latest publications and promotions!


  1. I'd like to read Never Smile At A Monkey.

  2. There are many great titles I would love to read and my little one loves Curios George so I know she would love to start with reading him :)

  3. I'd love to read Stellaluna with dd!

  4. Another book I would like to read to my granddaughters is Gooney Bird and All Her Charms.

  5. I would love to check out the little bok of bedtime that they offer!!

  6. Another book I would love to read with my son is Miss Nelson is Missing! It was one of my childhood favorites!!

  7. I would love The little box of laugh for my daughter.

  8. I would certainly like to have the book Martha Speaks: Shelter Dog Blues. My grandson would love it and learn about shelter pets too. Thank-you. :)

  9. I'd like to read First Grade Dropout!

  10. Anastasia at Your Service looks like a cute series of books we would love to read they have lots of great books the kids would really enjoy.